The Money Quotes… “We can say this much with confidence: When change works, it tends to follow a pattern. The people who change have clear direction, ample motivation, and a supportive environment.”
“Ultimately, all change efforts boil down to the same mission: Can you get people to start behaving in a new way?”
“Psychologists have discovered that self-control is an exhaustible resource.”
“The bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap people’s self-control.”
“If you are a manager, ask yourself: ‘What is the ratio of the time I spend solving problems to the time I spend scaling successes?’ ”
“Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over weeks, sometimes over decades.”
“People pay closer attention to the bad stuff, reflect on it more, remember it longer, and weigh it more heavily in assessing the person overall. This pattern is so robust that researchers who study how we perceive one another have a label for it— ‘positive-negative asymmetry.’ ”
“Ambiguity is the enemy. Any successful change requires a translation of ambiguous goals into concrete behaviors. In short, to make a switch, you need to script the critical moves.”
“Change begins at the level of individual decisions and behaviors, but that’s a hard place to start because that’s where the friction is. Inertia and decision paralysis will conspire to keep people doing things the old way.”
“Until you can ladder your way down from a change idea to a specific behavior, you’re not ready to lead a switch. To create movement, you’ve got to be specific and be concrete.”
“When you describe a compelling destination, you’re helping to correct one of the Rider’s great weaknesses—the tendency to get lost in analysis.”
“Goals in most organizations, however, lack emotional resonance. Instead, SMART goals—goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely—have become the norm.” “SMART goals presume the emotion; they don’t generate it.”
“…‘it’s hard to get excited about 15% return on equity.’ ”
“When you’re at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle, because the middle is going to look different once you get there. Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.”
“Because, as Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter observes in studying large organizations, ‘Everything can look like a failure in the middle.’ ”
“… in most change situations, managers initially focus on strategy, structure, culture, or systems, which leads them to miss the most important issue: … the core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people, and behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.”
“Kotterand Cohen observed that, in almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not, but rather ANALYZE ! SEE THINK FEEL CHANGE CHANGE”
“We know there’s a difference between knowing how to act and being motivated to act. But when it comes time to change the behavior of other people, our first instinct is to teach them something. Smoking is really unhealthy! Your chemotherapy medicine is really important! We speak to the Rider when we should be speaking to the Elephant. This realization—that we can make an impeccably rational case for change and people still won’t change—is pretty frustrating.”
One way to motivate action, then, is to make people feel as though they’re already closer to the finish line than they might have thought.
“If you want a reluctant Elephant to get moving, you need to shrink the change.
From the business perspective, practice looks like poor execution.
In this entire book, you might not find a single statement that is so rigorously supported by empirical research as this one: You are doing things because you see your peers do them.
“… former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner said, ‘I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game — it is the game.’ ”
“Problems are easy to spot; progress, much harder.”